Jefferson Dancers
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Jefferson Dancers 2023 - 2024
Jefferson Dancers 2023 - 2024
Senior Dancer from Jefferson High School's Renowned Company Earns Prestigious Recognition (Photo) - 02/21/24

In a triumphant display of talent and creativity, a senior member of the Jefferson Dancers at North Portland's Jefferson High School has clinched top honors at the Regional High School Dance Festival. Finn Chisholm, a dedicated member of the renowned pre-professional dance company, secured the highest accolade for his outstanding choreography piece titled "Peaks and Valleys" at the event held from February 16 to 18 at the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy.

Chisholm's choreographic creativity shone brightly as his piece unanimously impressed the panel of esteemed judges, comprising dance professors from prestigious universities and seasoned dance professionals.

Out of 13 submissions from regional high school dance programs, Chisholm's "Peaks and Valleys" was selected as one of the performances for final adjudication in the Outstanding Student Choreography Showcase. This achievement marks the fourth consecutive year a Jefferson Dancer has seized the spotlight in this category, underscoring the company's consistent excellence.

Steve Gonzales, the Artistic Director of Jefferson Dancers for over 25 years, expressed his admiration, stating, “Once again, I’m so pleased with the hard work and dedication the JDs are putting forth. This has been an unusually heavy scheduled year of performances, school work, new choreography, setbacks from weather, unplanned challenges, preparation for this festival, our upcoming tour to France, and the annual Spring concerts.  Working with such talented young artists over the years is an honor. Their ability to submerge themselves into their work, reach into themselves, and share their vulnerabilities in their choreography is amazing.”

The National High School Dance Festival, renowned as the largest in the United States, is a platform to celebrate the pinnacle of high school dance programming excellence since 1992. Three days of performances, master classes, and auditions for prestigious college and summer-intensive scholarships.

Reflecting on his achievement, Chisholm remarked. “Thank you to this company and cast for allowing me to set this piece embracing both sentimental and tender memories, the peaks and valleys of life, and turn them into such a beautiful piece of work.” His award-winning piece, "Peaks and Valleys," is slated to grace the stage of Portland's Newmark Theatre from April 18 to 20 as part of the Jefferson Dancers' highly anticipated annual spring performances.

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The Jefferson Dancers, affectionately known as "the JDs," represent the pinnacle of excellence within the nationally renowned dance department at Jefferson High School. This elite company has nurtured the school's most talented dance students for nearly half a century, fostering a multi-ethnic ensemble of dancers aged 14 to 18. Under the expert guidance of Artistic Director Steve Gonzales, the Jefferson Dancers devote themselves to rigorous rehearsals every school day, coupled with intensive dance instruction. Their repertoire spans diverse styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and African, showcasing their versatility and artistry on stage.

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